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Full text of "leashless - a manifesto on freedom"

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1 want to be free. 

I want to be free. 

You want to be free. 

I want to be free, 
f hey want to be free. 

You want to be free. 
hy are we not free? 

They want to be free. 
I want to be free. 
Why are we not free? 

You want to be free. 

:j"» They want to be free. 

Why are we not free? 

You want to be free. 
They want to be free. 
Why are we not free? 

We are not free 
because we need H 

each other, "from each according to his ability, 

to each according to his need." I 

Right r Wrong 

Our obligations to each other as 
human beings reduce our freedom, 
but increase our well-being. 

Is one person 

a person at all? 
Is there a self 

outside of society? 


Are there 
even answers? 

What obligations 

Am I not me? 

Am I not Free? 
I don't think I | 

owe you anything 

When considering these questions, who's answers count? 

When you were 

born, were you 


No, you depended 
completely on your 

Depending on the 
State keeps you in 
infancy until death. 

Yes, but you had 
no capability to 
use that freedom. 

Free in what sense? 
is the real question 
we must ask. 

What are the real 
characteristics of 
being free? 


If freedom requires 
capability, is it just 
a word for power? 










We exist in a constant state of 

give and tai<e witii our 

environment: otiier people and 

the natural world around us 



Without our needs 
we die or live in 


I need water 
I want a radio 

Witiiout our wants 
we enjoy life less 
but it goes on 

Our preferences 
can even be about 
otiier people's lives 

I prefer the blue 

1 need water 

Millions of people die of 
dirty water every year 

Regardless of politics, 
nobody with unmet 
needs is genuinely free 



1 want a real job 

Millions live in poverty 
even in rich countries 

Nobody's wants should 
remove another's ability 
to meet their needs 

Your preferences should 
not adversely affect my 
wants or needs 

We do not choose our 
needs, only our wants 
and preferences 

1 prefer apartheid 

Some prefer things 
which harm others 

Therefore our wants 
and preferences are 
negotiable at all times 

Most Libertarians 

derive freedom from 


recognize that the 
planet belongs to all 


Stating that you are 
your own property, and 
not anybody elses 1 

and that individuals are 
their own masters 
without any exception 

If your acre is the last 
arable acre left, it will 
not rain any more. 

but this leaves 
environmental and 
social justice unserved. 

but balance the needs of 
all and the freedom of 
the individual. 

What is the fair price of 
ecosystem services, and 
to whom is it paid? 

Land usually 
becomes property 

by violence. 


The earth has no 
ruler. People are 
free upon it. 

Air is shared 
property as it 
exists unenclosed. 

The enclosures 
that exist are not 
fundamentally real. 

Do not legitimize 
what was stolen as 
valid property. 

Just land use must 
fully acknowledge 
these facts. 

They exist in 
people's minds and 
are kept by force. 

Land rights must 
be derived from 
the earth's rights. 

The first Axiom 

We "rent" the bodies 


"The Earth owns itself 

we inhabit from the 


as we own ourselves." 

matter of earth. 


Whether it is a 

When we die, inevitably 

What then is the charge 

corporate body or a 

to it do we return, 

we owe the planet just 

being matters not. 


unless lost in space. 

for existing on it? 

We start by assuming 

All of our fundamental 

What is the rent for 

that the planet it its 

needs are derived from 

being alive, and to 

own owner 

its ecosystem services. 

whom is it paid? 

The second Axiom 

Further property 


"The matter of your 

arrangements are built 


body belongs to Earth." 

on simple embodyment 


Each body comes with 

What we create 

No person speaks for 

the same obligations to 

together after simply 

the earth in the matter 

the earth 

existing is our own. 

of this simple duty. 


breathing the same air, 

But we are free only 

Rather, we each decide 

drinking the same water, 

after doing our duty to 

for ourselves what we 

eating the same food. 

the planet we rent from. 


owe the place we are. 

The third Axiom 

"Aught else that can be 
owned is ever yours." 

Your rights over your 
own being are absolute 
and not alienable. 

A person may or may 
not be considered 

While your body is 
clearly rented from the 
earth, the rest is you. 

Beyond that, the 
understanding of the 
rights of beings changes. 

However, if a person is 
in any way property, 
they are their own. 

This self ownership is 
defined as inalienable, 
meaning no slavery. 

How we define or 
decide about rights 
changes over time too. 

The fourth Axiom 

"Just property value is 
defined by utility." 

The value of a piece of 
property is its use value 
to its current owner 

This principle matters in 
seeking justice around 
"ownership" of assets. 

If a poor person takes 
from a rich person, it is 
often need over want. 


The land was stolen 
from those who settled 
it by later rulers. 

Those who own much 
attach little real value to 
their property. 

The utility of the asset 
transfer must be taken 
into account in law. 

Where is righteousness 
in handling stolen 


Earth provides enough to 
satisfy every man's need, but 

not every man's greed." 
M.K. Gandhi 

In the long run, the tree 
branch is matter, and 
therefore the Earth's. 

What about stuff? 

Around Self and Body 
lies the world we live in. 


Who owns this tree 

branch? Is it the tree? Is 

it the Earth? 


While part of the tree, 
the tree owns its own 
branch, doubtless. 

On the ground, if 1 pick 
up the branch, it is mine. 
This is common sense. 

But it is mine in the 
rented sense, a transfer 
from its true owner 

Is it you? Is it me? Let us 
untangle this matter 
swiftly and clearly. 

Your desire for my 
branch., is it a need, a 
want or a preference^. 

Existing property 
rigiits are largely 
based on violence 

Land rights are 
descended from either 
colonial or feudal times. 

Usually property rights 
are artifacts of previous 
social control. 

Kings granted lands to 
military figures, who 
gave them to their sons. 

Military power turned 
into money though land 
not looting. 

Copyright started as 

censorship. Patent has 

better roots though. 

Land became tradable 
for gold, but passed by 


Colonialism is even 
simpler: kill people and 
take their stuff. 

Property rights can 
change and be 
remade any time 

If Eldred vs.Ashcroft 
had gone the other way, 
old would equal free. 


Copyright is changing 
right now - for the 

Patents are changing 
too - large companies 
rebelling against them! 

Could we redefine land 
to include ecosystem 
services in the rights? 

The DCMA and similar 

laws extend it's reach 



Patents are stifling 
innovation because 
they've gone too fan 

Could we redefine 
money so it was a 
better fit to real value? 

Use and property 

Need, want & prefer are 
three different things. 

If you prefer your bucket 
is kept clean, and 1 leave 
it dirty, 1 am careless. 


If you need this bucket 
to live, and 1 take it from 
you, 1 am a murderer 

Usually property rights 
are oriented around 
things and not people. 

But, in truth, a thing is 
its usefulness or its 
value to a person. 

Property is a shorthand 
for talking about needs, 
wants and preferences. 

If you want this bucket 
and 1 take it from you, 1 
am at worst a thief. 

A dollar means different 
things to rich and poor, 
it is not objective value. 


Fixing our property 

Taxation is often used 


rigiits systems 

to give property to 
those who have none. 


Copyright and patent 

The old, violence-based 

But if we got real about 

are new forms of i 

property system takes 

human needs we could 

property made by fiat. 



have one system. 

The limited liability 

And the new social 

The point of the 

corporation is also new 

security systems patch 

property is the thing's 

property made by fiat. 

the bug with more. 


usefulness to you. 

What would a sane 
property rights 
system look like? 

Leased land is subject to 
rational environmental 

What is yours is yours 
and people may not 
take it from you. 

Regional land use 
assemblies set local 
agendas - not global. 

The income from land 
leases genuinely belongs 
to all and can be shared. 

Land is leased, not 
owned, on the basis it is 
really owned by all. 

Limited liability and 
similar fiat subsidies to 
groups are phased out. 

Need,Want 8c Prefer can 
help set priorities for 

Freedom is not 
Property, Property 
is not Freedom 

Rather, you want or 
need and "property 
rights" get in the way. 








This confusion of 
freedom and property is 
the Libertarian problem. 

Governments take from Systems made to 
people using their own manage property wind 

"property rights." up controlling people. 

Dependence and 
control go hand in 

who is free here? 

We need use of 
property for our needs, 
wants & preferences. 

The people who "own" 
that property now have 
some control over us. 

We depend on their 
property, and they then 
control us with money. 

But even at the top, 
people are not free - 
different chains bind. 

Class War? 

Political control of key 
assets is the main game. 

Inherited land titles, 
patents and copyright all 
serve to fix wealth. 



Otherwise everybody 
takes a little, and wealth 
doesn't concentrate. 

But concentrated 
wealth pays for progress 
and infrastructure. 

More property is not 
the key to freedom. 
Less control is the key. 

Nobody is Free 


Everybody exists in 
cycles of mutual control 

The CEO reports to 
the board who report 
to the shareholders. 

Want Want 
Prefer ^ Prefer 

\ / 



Shareholders are 
controlled by politicians 
bought by the CEO. 

Even at the highest 
levels, nobody 
experiences freedom. 

It is not us and them, it 
is us-and-us.We are all 
in this together 

I object to violence 

because when it appears 

to^do good, tiie good is 

only temporary; tiie evil 

it does is permanent." 




What is Freedom? 

Freedom is an internal 
state of being. 

It exists in the 
relationships between 
people, nowhere else. 

That we cannot fly like 
birds is not a restriction 
on our freedom. 

But if we could fly, and 
were not allowed, that 
would not be freedom. 

Freedom exists when 
people do not stop us 
from doing as we like. 

Right now, property 
rights are the biggest 
obstacle to freedom. 



Needs go unmet while 
the preferences of the 
rich are treated like law. 

But freedom is not 
property, and it is 
freedom we must seek. 

Separate social 
control and 
economic control 

Marijuana is illegal 
because of social 
control, not economics. 

The system of land 
ownership which makes 
rents high is economics. 







"Property rights" laws How can we do this 

are different from social more sensibly, so people 
control laws. are as free as possible? 

Use Swadeshi to 
simplify property 
rigiits issues 

Swadeshi is Gandhi's 
term meaning own 
(swa) land (desi.) 






It's often understood as 
being about localization 
for political control. 

Actually, it's more about Swadeshi can make you 
thinning out property much harder to control 

rights dependencies. through property. 

Use punk rock to 
simplify social 
control issues 


Most social control 
does not have much 
legal force. 



' \ 

1 \ 

t V 








Drug laws are one 
notable exception but 
mostly you live free. 

As long as you don't How you organize your 

hurt people, they usually psyche to resist control 
don't bother the free. is your own business. 

What about 
taxation? Isn't 
taxation tiieft? 

Taxation is what 
governments charge 
you for renting stuff. 




They own all the land, 
you just lease it from 
them. It's their land. 

They own all the money, We are long past the 
you just lease it from point where taxation 

them. It's their money. was meaningfully theft. 

Freedom is when 
we stop controlling 
each other 

everybody can be free 

Do not let other people 
control you, even those 
you love. 




r-5 A, 

Work towards meeting 
your needs without 
other people's property. 

Work with others to 
define sane property 
rights and become free. 

Change the shape of 
society to promote 

How are we 
controlled? What 
can we do? 

Work towards owning 
property for your needs 
- business and/or land. 





"build ethical connections" 


Push back against social 
control where you find 
it however suits you. 

Find people with similar 
goals and cooperate 
with them in freedom. 


Maintain political 
pressure on insane 
property rights systems. 

It does not distinguish 
economic, social and 
political control. 

What is leashless? 

It's the minimal system 
required to be freer 


It's a lot like Gandhi, 
Syndicalism and so on. 

Freedom exists when 
people do not stop us 
from doing as we like. 

Identify and understand 
your needs, wants & 

Critically, it focusses on 

short personal steps 

towards freedom. 

Whether they use 
property rights, law or 
society does not matter. 

Work on owning what 
you need and cooperate 
with others to do it. 

Next steps 

We can and must do 
something quickly. 

Economic instability is 
probably not over, and 
political may follow it. 


Firstly, identify leashless 
people: it's a state of 
mind. Make friends. 

Leashless is a political 
analogue to the 
resilience movement. 

If people are building 
infrastructure and want 
peace, work with them. 

Work on getting the 
collar off and seeing 
freedom around you. 

Use SCIM to identify 
your needs and work on 
owning infrastructure. 


Enjoy, and thank you. 

leashless is the work of 
Vinay Gupta and is in 
the Public Domain. 

This is an alpha release 
and it should really be a 
book. But not yet. 

The title image contains images CC-BY licensed images by laverrue and David Paul Ohmer.